President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address was most liberal speech he has delivered as president — a blunt summons to wage to war on poverty, defend entitlements for the middle class, end “perpetual war” overseas and move past the calibrated progressive agenda of his first term.
Gone were the pleas for bipartisanship of his first inaugural, vaporized by years of partisan battle and Obama’s own sense of a new mandate — achieving bipartisan results through force, not conciliation.
Absent too were calls for a “balanced approach” to the deficit, the grist of his 2012 campaign speeches, replaced by a naked appeal for the country to forcefully address economic inequality for the sake of its future strength, a theme that strongly echoed John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address
After President Obama signed nomination papers Monday — one of his first acts after his inauguration at the Capitol — there was something of a kerfuffle over who would keep the pens he used.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) picked one up, but Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) quickly admonished him: “Harry, Harry, put down the pen.”
“I can get you one, man,” Obama chimed in. He then pulled a pen from his pocket and gave it to Reid.